Greenest Ethanol Still Unproven

Sugarcane field Queensland Australia Copyright Renate Leahy 2004Cellulosic Ethanol – Clean but Worth Unproven
By Stephen Leahy

Jun 30 (IPS) – With biofuels being blamed for rising food prices and offering limited environmental benefits, diverse luminaries like former U.S. vice-president Al Gore and Microsoft’s Bill Gates are throwing their considerable support behind cellulosic ethanol, a second generation biofuel.

copyright Pembina InstituteThe big benefit cellulosic ethanol has is that virtually any plant material — left-over corn stalks, sawdust, wood chips, native perennials grown on marginal lands — could be turned into ‘green gold’, a low-emission fuel for the transportation sector.

“Cellulosic ethanol would reduce carbon emissions 88 percent over gasoline,” says Bruce Dale, a chemical engineer at the Biomass Conversion Research Laboratory at Michigan State University.
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